T.The world is full of advice for getting a good night’s sleep, but sometimes it just isn’t possible. If you have trouble sleeping, work shifts, or have a toddler who wakes up every few hours, it can be tiring to be taught how to sleep well. Even though he feels tired all day long, he looks more attractive in episode 4 of The Bear than in bed.
How do you know if you’re sleep deprived? For some the answer is obvious. For others, it may not be so. Russell Foster, a professor of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford, lists his three signs that you’re probably not getting enough sleep. I overslept on my day off. Or you may want to take a nap during the day. “
Sleep School founder Guy Meadows suggests asking yourself: “Do I wake up in the morning feeling refreshed, have enough energy to get through the day effectively, complete my tasks, and have a relatively stable emotional outlook on the world? ’” Most of us can get an extra hour to an hour and a half of sleep each night, says Meadows.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to deal with it.
Is it okay to have caffeine to wake me up?
If you’re on your fourth cup of coffee for the day, there’s good news. It’s a “great stimulant,” Meadows said. But he warns that caffeine is both friend and foe. It acts as an antagonist to adenosine (a brain-produced chemical that causes drowsiness and helps you sleep), masking rather than solving the problem.
“It really depends on what your goals are,” says Ian Walsh, a senior lecturer at Northumbria University who studies sleep, exercise and nutrition. “Coffee and caffeine increase alertness, but too much can cause tremors and irritability.” Not good for patients,” points out one study.
Accustomed to corporate-type jobs where he drinks three triple espressos in the morning, Meadows is reassuringly relaxed. “If you had a couple of caffeinated drinks before noon, switch to decaf or herbal alternatives after noon.” However, drinking too much coffee later in the day can disrupt your sleep when you finally get into bed.
How do you deal with sleepless nights without Kit Kats or other sweets for breakfast? Are there any healthy foods that work?
While you may be tempted to eat something sweet, “a well-balanced, plant-filled breakfast can set you off for a better day,” says registered dietitian Rosemary Martin. “Aim to include some whole-grain carbs, along with fruits and vegetables, protein, and healthy fats.” She recommends oatmeal porridge with soy milk, soy yogurt, berries, and nuts. . “Or, if you have a little more time, scrambled tofu on whole grain toast with tomatoes, spinach, and avocado.” All of the experts we interviewed cited nuts as a good option.
Why do we want to eat so much when we are tired? And is this a problem?
“A lack of quality sleep can throw your appetite hormones out of balance,” says Martin. “Ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry, increases and leptin, the hormone that signals satiety, decreases.”
Meadows said: “It’s the perfect storm where you want to eat more and you don’t know when to stop. Combine this with the fact that sleep deprivation lowers your willpower, and it becomes very difficult.”
“Lack of sleep and lack of sleep make us more likely to make inappropriate lifestyle choices. It’s a side effect of disturbing my sleep, which is more stimulating.”
After a good night’s sleep, “make a conscious choice to choose foods rich in fiber, such as whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables,” recommends Martin. High in fiber and water, they help you feel full while limiting your overall energy intake. “
If you have the opportunity to nap, should you take a nap?
Foster says naps can be a blessing, but with conditions. He recommends that he take a 20-minute nap right after lunch. This “improves cognitive performance later in the day.” In general, he advises not to continue napping as it may cause you to fall into a deeper sleep. However, a two-hour nap can be beneficial for those who are chronically tired.
If you have the opportunity to sleep over the weekend, should you sleep?
Lying down, Foster says, “means you’re setting the clock to a later hour, which means it’s harder to get up on Monday.” If possible, maintaining a regular sleep schedule is “really best.”
Getting up early gives you more exposure to the all-important morning light. Foster recommends setting your alarm and going outside or sitting next to a window. All light stimulates alertness, but morning light is the most stimulating, says Meadows. “It helps increase serotonin, which lifts your mood. It helps your body clock sync with your time zone and boosts the release of cortisol to help you wake up feeling refreshed.”
Can light therapy help?
Of course, says Foster. We recommend using a light box in winter. Mr. Meadows, who sounds almost cheerful for 3:30 p.m. on a Friday, says: When I arrive in the morning, the first thing I do is have a cup of coffee and make sure I turn on the light therapy. “
You obviously shouldn’t stare at the sun, but Foster says light is a “very powerful and free health resource”, so by “getting at least 10 minutes of good, solid, natural light” you can “do it.” “We harvest the
I tend to stop exercising when I get tired. How can I motivate myself? Are there any exercises that are effective when you are tired?
This is the dilemma Mr. Meadows has heard before. “One of the questions I get asked a lot is, ‘Should I sleep less and go to the gym?’ You don’t want to” increase fatigue.” So high-intensity running is not the best choice.
“You have to listen to your body,” says personal trainer Sarah Overall. “There’s a reason you get tired, so intense training isn’t always the best option.” there is”. She also recommends “doing a little gentle yoga or Pilates.” Exercise physiologist Tom Cowan agrees, suggesting limiting the intensity and duration of exercise and choosing activities like Tai Chi and gardening.
Meadows explains: “Exercise is a stimulus for growth, but sleep is where growth happens. If you force yourself to go to the gym, you may not get the desired effect.” “
Is there anything you can wake up to or eat?
An easy fix when you’re sleep deprived might sound tempting, but there’s no specific food Martin recommends. “Ultimately, it’s your overall food choices that help you feel energized and focused.”
Overall, a lunchtime run suggests that you’ll be awake and able to work efficiently in the afternoon. “Aerobic exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which increases cognitive efficiency.” Alternatively, “a brisk walk or bike ride can help,” she says.
Is sleep deprivation always detrimental to your health? Can you minimize the long-term effects?
“In the short term, we can get around this problem,” says Foster. “In the long run things start to fall apart.” He lists the negative effects. “Accumulated sleep deprivation impairs cognitive abilities such as communication, decision-making, and memory.”
It also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, and psychosis. The World Health Organization has classified night shift work as a possible carcinogen.
For chronically sleep deprived people, Dr. Foster recommends more frequent check-ups “to help detect changes in blood sugar levels in the pre-diabetic stage before they become chronic.” . He can also detect “other nuisances that may stalk you.”
Exhaustion can make you irritable. What’s the best way to avoid attacking others?
“Be aware that it can get irritable easily,” says Foster. It may be easier said than done, but “be careful not to put yourself in a situation where you have to rely on empathy,” he admits.
If you need to talk about something serious with your partner, try to find a less exhausting time, he advises. For example, in his household, he doesn’t talk about his finances at bedtime.